COMMAND PRESENCE

They…they…they…What a punk.

Someone please explain to this chickenhawk what command and leadership entail! Sack up, you pissant.

“This was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something they wanted to do,” he said. “They came to me, they explained what they wanted to do ― the generals ― who are very respected, my generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan.”

If you’re in uniform, THIS is your CIC. God bless and keep you.

SHOTGUNS

We were doing this play in NY for Joe Papp, based upon poetry written by and about veterans of Vietnam. WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS. I think all of us had served…tho Kelly Monaghan was in Korea.  😉 It didn’t run very long…in fact, I’d turned down a film role, just to do it. The casting director, Lou DiGiaimo said to me, “Tucker, plays come and go. Movies are forever.” True…tho the movie was COPS AND ROBBERS….

So one day, see Jimmy lived up on the Upper West Side and his place got broken in…and it pissed him off. So Jimmy went out and bought a shotgun. We both been home about 6 or 7 years…not all that long. And he wanted to familiarize himself with it so we went over to New Jersey, to a gun range run by Rocky…who was of course Italian.

There were all these guys in cool leather shooting jackets with engraved shotguns, preparing for some trap shooting. Jimmy’s gun was a riot gun. Shorter barrel, no choke, WIDE dispersion of buckshot…but very effective, up close and personal. Rocky as I recall laughed at us…but he liked our style.

So Rocky set us up for an afternoon trap shoot…or skeet shoot, I don’t remember which. Clay targets. He gave us both handsome Browning shotguns and we went out to the line. There were about 5 of us…they, seasoned gun enthusiasts and we were…a couple of guys who’d done some shooting as well, a while back. Just that it was during a war. So anyway, we did a… whatever they call it…a round?

30 shots. The “suits” as I recall did 17, 18 and 21. I did 22. And if memory serves me right, Jimmy did 25. Rocky was impressed.
I never hunted animals, apart from slingshots and bb guns as a kid. But in OCS they introduced a new approach to weapons training for use in Vietnam called Quick Kill. Statistically, most of our engagements happened inside 50 meters. QK taught us to ignore the sights on our weapons, to fire with both eyes open. Point and shoot. The country kids were the quickest to pick it up because it replicated their bird hunting techniques.

I know that Jimmy moved to California and became involved in law enforcement. I don’t know whether he ever had to use his shotgun, over the years.

MISUSE

Those past bans on Dover photos of our troops coming home in their flag-draped coffins was – or should have been – an affront to us all. You continue to deploy us; we continue to die.

We served with honor. Our sacrifices were real, they happened. And when our broken bodies finally came home, America should have shared the grief our families endured.

To see our deaths now appropriated as images to buttress media positions – pro OR con – is SO dispiriting to me…and I’d imagine to their families as well. You deserved better from us…and so did your son or your daughter.